AbstractsSocial Sciences

Once upon a time in Mexico

by Malin Pedersen

Institution: Linnæus University
Year: 2014
Keywords: Family firms; dynamics; Mexican culture; family; values; relationships; Social Sciences; Other Social Sciences; Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified; Samhällsvetenskap; Annan samhällsvetenskap; Övrig annan samhällsvetenskap; Enterprising & Business Development, 180hp; Enterprising & Business Development, 180 credits; Other Subjects; Övriga ämnen
Record ID: 1359602
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-37545


This thesis seeks to explain the relational dynamics in Mexican family firms. Based on the concept of dynamics and family, the family is central in this study of family firms. Traditional views on the Mexican family consists of hierarchy, unity, and tradition-bound values where family is always prioritized. Family firms, then, are considered a way of helping out family members and leaving a legacy by letting the company pass through several generations. The purpose of this study is therefore to develop an understanding of the dynamics behind Mexican family firms and to discuss if the above image of them – and family in general – portrayed in existing literature is actually consistent with family firms of today’s Mexico City.By travelling to Mexico City to interview six business owners and the family members involved in the companies, this study’s empirical material was collected. Based on a qualitative approach through narration, the empirical material was then processed and analyzed, which in turn lead to the theoretical subfields of dynamics, cultural values, trust, relational aspects and socio-economic expectations. Through these theoretical concepts, we could discuss how the relational dynamics manifests in the six Mexican family firms that were the objects of this study. By adopting a narrative approach, we let our empirical material and the voices of the people interviewed in Mexico be the center of this thesis. We are hoping that by writing context-sensitive stories, we are able to bring the reader to the settings if Mexico City.The relational dynamics in Mexican family firms is highly dependent on the main reason why family was involved in the company in the first place. The conclusion of this essay is that while family is still highly valued in the Mexican culture, formatting your company as a family firm is not an active choice. Traditional values in the Mexican culture is still prominent, but the dynamics is expressed by individual values in the company and it is not as visible in the company itself as traditions and literature would have us believe. Mexicans, and particularly the younger generation, are shifting from the allocentric and collectivistic society to a more individualistic one, where following your dreams, being independent and self-fulfillment are if not prioritized over, than at least considered as important as the traditional family values. Family firms are not created for the single purpose of helping your family, but because circumstances led to the involvement of family members.